Friday, January 31, 2014

competitor

This week flew by. It was glorious. I kind of feel like on Monday I blinked, and all of a sudden it was Superbowl Weekend. Ushered in by a beautiful sunrise.



So, what is wackjob Kait gonna throw at you for some Friday entertainment? How about a quick story?

A week or two ago, Andrew and I decided that we were going to see Lone Survivor. I showed up at his apartment around 6:15 pm so that we could share split a Trader Joes pizza prior to walking down the street to the theater.

Around 6:45 we finished stuffing our faces eating, and realized we had well over 2 hours to kill before the 9:45 showing. Didn’t time that out too well.

Somehow, as we cleaned up and sat back down at his kitchen table over some wine, we got into a heated ‘What do we really want to do with our lives’ debate. One of those deep conversations that you can only have with a select few people in your life, which gets so intense that you lose track of time for a significant while.

I love Andrew for many reasons, but towards the top of that list is that he will always push me. Always. So he sat there and asked me what my fears were, what was holding me back from studying to get my PT certification, why I am not going after things that I'm so passionate about.

And with tears in my eyes like the emotional wimp that I can sometimes be, it basically came down to fear, and stagnancy.

I’m a big competitor in certain areas of life. I like to excel, I like to run fast, I like to beat people. I like to do things well, not half-assed. Recently I’ve been on a don’t be a (insert p-word here) rant, as anyone who has spent a significant amount of time with me recently could tell you. And so another good question that he threw at me was -

“What’s your plan for 2014? Are you racing? How are you going to compete in life this year, because we both know that you need that.”


I do. I just don’t know what my bodies going to let me do yet. And I sure as hell am not going to pay an absurd race fee to do it ‘for fun.’

A shamrock shuffle at this point would be just that – a shuffle. Some people shuffle, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I prefer to see 6's in front of my 5k pace.

I’m getting antsy. I see race ads popping up everywhere, and I want to sign up. It’s one of the reasons that I sometimes avoid reading other blogs, because I get down on myself about not having some epic 2014 year of races planned.

I’m convinced that sitting on my ass all day is doing more harm than good for my freaking hamstring.
I’m convinced that crossfit would be a great solution for me. Yet I also know that that I still can’t afford it.

Basically, I realized that I was/am in a weird rut. I don’t have any races to train for, and I basically half-assed my way through life in January. Maybe I need to cut myself some slack, but I don’t think I do. Basically, what I need is for Jillian Michaels to walk into my house, scream at me, possibly backhand me, and then write me an epic workout plan for the entire year.

This post has no point but to be transparent and let you all know where I stand. I have a lot of awesome ideas in my head as to what I want this year to look like, and I think it’s time to hold myself accountable and start acting on them, don’t you agree? And as I sit here, on the eve of February, I’m feeling more motivated than ever.

Hold tight kids, 2014 is about to start FO’ REAL. I leave you with a jam for #Backthatazzup Friday that sums up this post perfectly.

A Little Less Conversation (JXL radio edit remix) by Elvis Presley on Grooveshark

Cheers –


K

Monday, January 27, 2014

Against the Grain

Can we all just take a quick minute and acknowledge my witty title? 

Damn I’m good.

I read a great blog post this weekend, titled 6 reasons why I’m not paleo. When I first read it I got really confused and wondered if I had blacked out and written it, because the 6 reasons that she lists are literally the same reasons I would not consider myself to be a ‘hard core’ primal. That, and pizza.

You should read it if you have any interest at all in Paleo, eating styles, etc. It’s good stuff. Recently I’ve found myself struggling/getting in arguments with some of my friends while defending the Paleo-style of eating, and trying to explain my general stance. This link pretty much nails it. Anyone who is 100% paleo I am honestly impressed by, but personally I think it’s a little bit unreasonable. If you think I’m going to a Superbowl party this weekend and passing on the beer/nachos, you can think again.

However, speaking of darn good food, I made some this weekend. On Saturday I made this chili, and then yesterday morning I (finally) made this 5 ingredient spaghetti pie.


If you are looking to make one recipe this week, make this. I’m serious, it’s mind blowing, and will have me looking forward to lunch every day this week.


Outside of food, this weekend included some skeeball fun with friends, and the Baltimore Visionary Arts Museum.




Wrapping up, I’m going to be very blunt and say that I’m stoked that this is the last week of January. It’s been long, rather cold, and the first month of the year is always intimidating to me. February is short and contains my birthday, the Superbowl, Groundhog Day, my Blogiversary, Valentines Day, a ski date, some damn good music release dates, the REI Garage Sale, the Winter Olympics… want me to keep going?

Cheers –

K

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rev (up)

I continue to forget that nothing gets me out of a bad attitude toddler slump than a solid ass-kicking workout.

I remembered that tonight though, don't worry.

Last week one of my friends asked a few of us if we had any interest in doing a charity spin class at the new cycle studio that she works at. The event was to raise money for a Team in Training fundraiser to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the fight against cancer.

90 minutes of sweat and yelling to beat cancer's ass? Sign me up.


The class/studio had everything I look for in a solid spin sesh - good music, good atmosphere, and a fantastic instructor. Since this class was a solid hour and a half they actually had two spin instructors up there.


The first - Esther - took the reigns for the first hour and got me so pumped up I wanted to head butt the girl on the bike next to me.... which happened to be my good friend Megan, so I restrained myself.

Any female spin instructor who has the balls to call the entire class the P word and consistently drop phrases like "Let's do this sh*t" is A-OK in my book.

The second - Jessie, was a little less intense but much more encouraging - exactly what we needed to finish out those last sweat-drenched 30 minutes.

All in all I was thoroughly impressed by Rev Spin Studio and am so glad that I went - check out their website here if you're an interested Baltimorian.

Now I promised you guys a recipe, and I'm going to share it because I don't break promises. These cookies are amazing, are (almost) paleo, and I may have housed two immediately after getting home from Rev.

I'm not even close to sorry.

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cookies

- 1 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries

- 1 freshly squeezed lemon

Preheat to 375. Grease pans. Mix sugar, yogurt, vanilla and eggs in a bowl. Slowly fold in the coconut flour, baking powder and salt, followed by the blueberries.


Spoon decent sized blobs on the pans, take half a lemon and squeeze it over the uncooked cookies before popping those bad boys into the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, keep an eye on them.


Flatten em down with a fork, eat, you're welcome.

Last but not least, I'm linking up with Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants to Work for #Backthatazzup Friday. Here's on of my favorite jams of the week.

Laura Palmer by Bastille on Grooveshark


Cheers!

K

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weird Wednesday & A Workout

I wasn't planning on writing tonight. My plan was to actually find some new music to throw onto my iPod while I laid in bed, because my workout playlists are starting to bore me half to death.

Then I started daydreaming in the shower and thought of a few things I want to talk about, realized they were all weird, and then realized that it's Wednesday.

Shall we have a weird Wednesday together?

Let's begin with the fact that I'm writing this from my new sleeping bag. 


I haven't owned a sleeping bag since I was pretty young. It had blue and red flowers on it and wasn't actually made for camping outdoors; I'm actually pretty sure I would have froze in it. But it was pretty and I liked it.

That's kind of how I feel about my new REI sleeping bag, except it's kind of cool that it's actually made to withstand cold temps. Andrew dragged me into REI this past weekend knowing that a lot of their sleeping bags were on sale, and told me to pick out an early birthday present.

We plan to do some camping this summer. Stay tuned.


Anyways, rewinding a little bit... while in the shower, two things happened. 

1. I stared at this sign that I hung up which my doctor recently gave me:

the how-to-check-your-boobs-once-a month-sign
I'm not saying the sign itself is weird. At all. Breast cancer is no joke - it's on both sides of my family, and my sweet grandmother passed away after battling it for quite some time. It's just a little weird intense now that I have a boob check sign hanging in my face every evening or morning when I shower. Intense, a little weird, but good. Really good. Love your boobies ladies. 

2. I scrubbed angrily at my right armpit with shower gel wondering why it's been itching now for at least a month. Consistently. Right armpit only?

Any thoughts? Dry skin? Is it normal to put lotion in your armpits? 
Looking for some guidance here people.

Another weird awesome thing? This video that my mom sent me tonight:

video


Jane is weird, and I love that she has found a way to entertain herself when the weather is too cold in Chicago for my mom to take her on her nightly walk.

Ok, moving away from the weirdness and onto the workout. I really love doing biking type intervals on my trainer, and hopping off after a certain period of time to switch up the heart rate. My friend Greg helped me to throw this together:

Bike to 15 min mark (keep watch running) - 5 push-ups, 10 squats, 15 sit-ups (x4)
Repeat at 30 mins, and 45 mins. I then finished off and biked after the third set until I hit 60 mins total.

I also signed up for the Daily Hiit 30 Day Challenge which has been emailing me some badass high intensity interval training to try out. While I'm not strictly following the challenge, they offer some really creative workouts if you're interested.

That's all I got. Actually I lied, I have a pretty awesome recipe but I'm going to save it for Friday. Stay tuned.

Cheers -

K

Monday, January 20, 2014

Preparation is Key

This weekend was solid. There really isn’t a particular reason why, just a lot of small fun/funny moments that made it fab.

Patapsco State Park is a big huge park near Baltimore that has an endless amount of trails to explore. I sometimes run there when it’s warmer, but on Saturday Andrew and I decided to bundle up and find some new trails.




We got a solid 75 minutes of hiking under our belts, and discovered some pretty stellar views in the process. Following the hike we hit up Subway’s JanuANY special and scarfed down footlongs. One each.

I probably wouldn’t have felt bad if we wouldn’t have followed up later that evening with a hot fudge sundae on top of a waffle. Oops.

'DONT EAT IT YET I NEED A PICTURE'
In comparison to my almost 100% paleo diet during the week, weekends can get a little sketchy. Granted, we were both freezing on our walk home, and literally nothing sounded better than hot fudge on top of a Belgium waffle...

Have I mentioned Vaccaros before in Little Italy? Its got some seriously decadent desserts. If you're ever in town, go.

Anyways,  even with a sweaty run bike run bike (15 mins each) workout yesterday pre-Broncos kicking the Pat’s butts didn’t make me feel much better. Pair that with some artichoke dip, and a celebratory shot or two when Peyton sealed the deal, and we’re talking about a pretty negligent weekend nutrition-wise.


I’m not too strict when it comes to weekends in general, but when hot fudge sundaes do call my name, I try to make extra certain that I set myself up for success for that coming week. Preparation is key.

Now, I  believe I’ve mentioned my snack drawer at work on here before, and I wanted to give you all a quick update on its current status, because it’s looking pretty damn impressive. Keep in mind, I'm a strong believer in keeping a stocked, healthy snack drawer...


Yes, there are at least six different kinds of tea in there. I continue to fall in love with tea, especially now that I have an awesome tea pot at home.


I went to town for a solid 90 minutes this evening in the kitchen, cooking up some broccoli slaw for my lunches (not pictured), a badass veggie fritata (picture bottom), and some delicious paleo Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Banana muffins. The original recipe can be found here - but keep in mind that I threw about a half cup of pumpkin in there, omitted the coconut (didn't have it), used coconut oil instead of butter, and used pecans instead of walnuts just because that's what I had on hand. 

They are great. If you're a muffin person, try these bad boys out.

Hopefully my food preparation this evening has me on track for success this week. Word on the street is that Balty is going to get a couple inches of snow tomorrow, something I'm actually looking forward to.

Snow > dirty dead grass.

Cheers!

K


Monday, January 13, 2014

Soup, Tunes, and Living Room Camping

Alright, let's get this show on the road.

First off, Happy Monday. You made it through the second hardest day of the week. What's the first hardest you ask? In my humble opinion, it's Tuesday. So buck up people, it's right around the corner.

Probably most importantly, my poor pathetic knees are healing. I took Friday off from working out in order to basically allow them to scab up. Instead I took the morning to hit snooze a few times, and then listen to this gem on my way to work...



Did you hear? Eric has a new album coming out February 11th. Not that I've been counting down since November or anything.

In other news, one of my new favorite Trader Joes snacks is this bag of delight:



It's literally dried cranberries. Not another ingredient to be found. I had about a handful a day all of last week, and finished them off today. A nice addition to my almonds.

My lunch for the week is a paleo buffalo chicken soup that I stumbled upon on pinterest. Preparation wasn't too bad, and the result was a whole lot of spicy soup.




Following the cooking of the soup, we tested out one of Andrew's Christmas presents.


It seems to be working just fine. Can't wait for some potential camping adventures this spring.

All this talk of food reminds me, I've been meaning of to tell you guys about a cool app that my friend mentioned to me - TwoGrand. It's basically a simple app that let's you keep track of the food that you're eating - and to follow others as well - by taking pictures. The purpose of the app is basically to encourage healthy eating and pick up on trends/ideas from others, who may have similar goal weights as yours. Now, I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight - I actually haven't weighed myself in months - but regardless, the app is a great way to keep track of what we're putting into our precious bodies, in a day and age when everyone has their phone on them... pretty much always.

Check out their website here, their blog here, or just search TwoGrand in your app store. It took me about a minute to create my account, and I can definitely see myself using it during weeks that I'm trying to really hold myself accountable, etc.



Give it a glance if you're a food/meal tracker kind of person.

It's looking like one of those 9 pm bedtime nights for me. I'm gonna finish the rest of this peppermint tea and dive under the covers.

Cheers -

K

Friday, January 10, 2014

4 Things I Want To Stop Seeing

#1. I want to stop seeing lists of reasons why I should unplug. Reasons why I should sign off facebook, and why I should put my phone down.

I get it, I do. But I’m sorry, for me, the pros of social media and connectivity far outweigh the cons. Being able to keep in close contact with my best friends and family all over the country is important to me. Group texts have changed my life.

love my groupt text with my mom & sis

So no, I’m not deactivating my Facebook. Stop obsessively taking videos with my phone at concerts? Sure, that can be a 2014 goal, I like that. But I’m just not giving myself ulcers over the amount of time I have my phone in my hand.

#2. Those lists referring to age. "40 things to do before you’re 40, 20 things never to do in your 20’s, 15 things I never thought about when I was 25." Can we just stop? It’s overwhelming, unnecessary, and half the time these list/articles things are contradicting themselves. One will urge you to go travel the world while you’re still young, and the other will warn you against frivolous spending: you better be saving your money in your 20's.

Sadly, I didn't land myself a six-figure job out of college, so no, I cannot simultaneously save money and travel the world, while holding a full-time job. If anyone has figured this one out, please pass on the secret.

#3. Those lists pertaining particularly to relationships and dating. These infuriate me. Lists of ways to spark your relationships, 20 great pick-up lines, ’23 things that let you know you’re in the right relationship'.

My first reaction when I see these is extreme confusion. What makes all of these random online writers experts on this delicate topic? Everyone is different, every couple functions differently, has different morals and values – that’s what makes dating and marriage such a beautiful thing.
me & my main man
#4. The freaking fitness lists. 10 tips to lose those last 10 pounds. 5 ways to not gain holiday weight. Or my person favorite – 20 tips to lose weight before your wedding.

Sigh. Don’t get me started on this one. Eat right. Stop eating empty calories i.e. sugar. Drink a lot of water. Get up and move from your desk. Throw around some weights. LISTEN to your body, and find out what works for you. These lists are so general and off-base it’s nauseating.

There is no quick fix that is healthy and natural. Just remember that.

this quote just felt right.
I get that buzzfeed has and always will be a list-type website. That’s cool – usually their postings are for humor, mainly containing pictures, and this has just always been their motif. But why, oh why are SO many other websites now featuring list-type articles? Whatever happened to the lost, beautiful art of writing out actual paragraphs, using actual facts, and making valid points instead of rattling off absurd opinion-based vomit?

That is my rant. Maybe I'm just being a romantic. Nonetheless, cheers to 2014 being the year these obnoxious lists stop clogging up my newsfeeds. Fingers crossed.

K

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Trainer Love

Happy Thursday! Holy moly has this week been a struggle for me. I was at dinner with Andrew last night and we were talking about how hard it’s been to get up for work this week – and then realized that spending 10 + straight days in the Mountain Time Zone waking up at 9 AM (11 AM E.S.T) is most likely the culprit. Oh well.

I’ll give myself until next week to stop hitting snooze four times in a row.

However I have to admit, it feels pretty great to have an organized schedule back. It also feels great to be eating a little more regularly, and not having about half of my meals consist of Colorado craft beer (although I will admit, I had a Great Divide beer at date night last night).

back on that plantain pancake wagon
Andrew has adopted a couple favorite phrases the past month or so, which I have of course come to adopt as well. The most popular?

New Year, New You

Which was his favorite excuse over the holidays to eat whatever we wanted.
‘I mean, if we don’t put on at least a couple pounds before 2014 then we will have nothing to strive for. 2014, New Year, New You.’

Fair enough.

While I like to also use this sentence outside of the context of just our bodies, it’s still a fun phrase to throw around excessively. I said it to myself a few times yesterday while taking my bike trainer for a trial run after work.

I’m in love I think. Biking as hard and absurdly as I want in the comfort of my own bedroom, listening to whatever music I want.



Speaking of music, I found some awesome spin/workout playlists last night when I searched ‘spin’ on Spotify. This guy rocked my socks for a solid 60 mins:


The workout went a little something like this:

Start watch
Spin to the 15 minute mark, get off bike and keep watch running…

50 air squats
40 jumping jacks
30 sit-ups
20 tricep dips
10 pushups
20 tricep dips
30 sit-ups
40 jumping jacks
50 air squats

Spin again until the 45 minute mark, repeat above sequence…
5-10 minute cool down

In all, that took me just over 60 minutes. Followed by some abs with my best friend, Mr. Red Ball.



I think I need a name for my bike trainer, since him/her and Beth will be best friends. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Guys, tomorrow is Friday. And aside from the fact that I fell on my run today through the city (don't ask), things are really looking up.



I don't want to talk about it. I'm still mortified that I literally wiped out while running along one of Baltimore's busiest city streets.

Friday. Focus on Friday.

Cheers –

K

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Keeping it Simple

Man, it’s been awhile eh? The holidays called for some time off in all areas of life, so I took the time to keep my laptop powered down and give my fingers a rest.

Let’s talk about this crazy cold weather everywhere, eh? I know Chicago has basically turned into a tundra, but Baltimore even got down into the single digits today -  my Civic wasn’t too eager to start up this morning.

But do you know who was eager to start up this morning? Beth.


My Christmas present from Andrew was a bike trainer, which was shipped in a large box from Amazon. It was a bitch blast to set up last night, but I’m in love. I plan to get a thorough sweat session on her tomorrow after work, and can’t wait until it gets a bit warmer to do run bike run type workouts.

To give a short and sweet summary of my holiday season – it was long, and wonderful. Much time was spent with family and friends; great food drink and conversation happened. And of course a few runs.




One of my other favorite gifts was this guy:


And my favorite blog shout out of the year was text to me from my sister’s boyfriend, who decorated a Christmas cookie for me...


RKR = Run Kait Run. Awww thanks Jase you're a gem.

And of course, once wheels were down in Colorado there were plenty of lights to fall in love under, trails to fall in love on, and mountains to take our breath away. 





Baltimore quickly swallowed us back up this past Sunday afternoon as we somehow navigated the absurd delays and cancellations at airports across the nation; we got away with just a one hour delay, landing at BWI right around 3 pm with eight bags in tow between the two of us.

New Years Resolution? Learn to travel lighter.


Kidding. Let’s get real for a minute. Last year I made a very elaborate New Year’s Resolution list. It included different categories, etc. Some things I achieved – I feel like I did a great job of being pretty proactive, all injury aside. Definitely have been flossing more too.



Others, like ‘stop chewing on my cuticles’… I once again failed. Maybe this year?
Anyways, listen up. This year I’m keeping it simple. Literally.



There were points during the past year that all of my resolutions, goals and what not literally stressed me out. I found myself having panic attacks over not becoming a taco connoisseur while I simultaneously tried to do a sugar cleanse for three weeks. I reprimanded myself when I couldn’t find the time to practice my violin, and cried when I realized I wouldn’t hit my goal time for my marathon… because my fifth metatarsal was once again cracked, and running was off the table.

My body is still healing. On my to-do list tonight is to create a viable fitness plan for myself these next few months so that I can get myself into true healthy running shape. Yes I’m running, yet not that much, and not pain-free.

My point is, as far as specific running/racing goals, body goals, health goals, life goals, here’s what I’ve basically wrapped into one for 2014:

Keep it Simple
Keep it Balanced
Do it Joyfully

I want to drink more lemon water. I think I’ll do that; at least I’ll try. One of my best friends reprimanded me for not doing sit-ups ‘the right way’ – this is coming from Mr. Crossfit himself.

that guy  ^^  (& my sis)
Ok, Ok, I’ll work on my sit-up form. I’ve been missing my abs these days anyways – the Christmas cookies buried them.

I want a stronger upper body. I can work on that. And eventually, when I sign up for some races, I will set some short term goals there. But I’m keeping it simple, I’m not stressing myself out, and I’m living 2014 as joyfully as I can. After all, I did tattoo the word on myself. 



Glad to be back my friends. Share some of your resolutions/goals with me, I’d love to hear them. Let’s make 2014 one to remember, what do you say?

Cheers –

K